At the centre of the story is the bombing of a bridge not yet finished between the Tasmanian mainland and Bruny Island. The building of the bridge is the catalyst for protest groups, election promises, conspiracies and foreign labour.
The narrator, Astrid, has returned home to Tasmania after an international career to help her brother the Premier negotiate with the many protest groups. Astrid discovers many secrets and lies about the project and to add more interest the leader of the state Opposition is their sister.
A book about political satire, a tale about climate change, globalisation and backroom deals, this book captivated me with its themes of everyday life. At times I didn’t know if I was reading a novel or the daily newspaper, so close to today’s politics it is. In this new world China is Australia’s newest ally, and a right-wing US President has withdrawn America from the Middle East and from the UN. The Australian Federal government is involved with secrets and American spies and its unperturbed policy of the Chinese buying Australian land and allowing their workforce to repair the bridge. The pursuit of power, labour hire and unionism are the main themes with a little love interest and an affair to lighten the tale.
An enjoyable and easy read that also manages to be informative and enlightening.
To read more about Heather Rose ‘Bruny’ at Allen & Unwin.
Lyn Kerkham and Anne Bassett from Fullarton Community Centre’s Book Club